Tuesday, December 7, 2010

A Place of Sight

There isn’t a picture to go with this post. Because –
David, over at Red Letter Believers, asks, “If my sight were gone, what would I miss?”

Pictures, that’s what I would miss. That’s what you would miss.

If you could access this blog at all, you wouldn’t be able to read it yourself. A speech reader would recite it in its droning voice. There would be no chance to experience the soul/mind/heart-comfort of curling up with a good book. The scenes that “move” others would be a mystery or a jumble, rather than a glimpse of majesty or contentment.

I am stirred by the sight of –
Incredible sunsets, sunrises, mountains, valleys, plants and flowers and trees, rivers and creeks and ponds and seas, birds, animals, people. The sun, the moon, the stars. The ground beneath my feet. At the sight of these things, gratitude wells up in my heart. I “feel better” for having seen them. I’m drawn to my Creator and Maker, God, who has made the universe, the Earth, humankind –
And ME!

More pictures I would miss –
Artworks of every sort, fashioned in actuality after being conceived as pictures in the mind.
Blessed houses, unusual (or at least, solid) architecture, street signs to tell me where to go; murals on walls, the many ornaments which decorate my life, my home.
The trusting glow of my cat’s eyes meeting mine squarely when I speak to her.
The wondrous smiles of delighted children. The tender looks of friends or family.
Body language that tells how a person really sees me, though speech may be couched differently.
The texture and color of food.
The beat of butterfly wings; puffy white contrails from jets overhead; the way colors come together to add zest to our days.
The expressions and gestures of people who minister life and blessing to me/us in visible and invisible ways.

I hope, though, that it’s true, what they say –
That with the loss of one of our senses, the others become more highly developed.

Also, I hope the images cast on the screen of my inner mind would not distort from my forgetting how to see.

The one thing that I would ask not to lose sight of –
Is my friendship with God.
Sighted or sightless, I would want to become ever more dependent on him;
Ever more like a trusting child,
Ever more receiving his insights to guide my life and thoughts,
Ever more basking in the realization of his great unconditional love,
Ever more praising him with gratitude for the life he has given me.
His life dwells within me --
For he says he created me in the image of God.
And by his indwelling, blinded or seeing,
I shall live and walk in his light!

Copyright 2010 by Marilee Miller

This post is entered in L L Barkat's "On, In, and Around Mondays", at

David's post is at

Saturday, November 27, 2010



For the power staying on during the cold weather,
And thus, a safe warm house --
For the quiet morning and prospects of a peaceful day--
For the nourishing food that I will enjoy today, the flavors and textures
And eye-appeal (and tummy-comfort) of each food variety --
For a good time of rest, and good heart-preparations –
And a good meeting-with-You --
Oh Lord, I give thanks.
With a deep spirit of thanksgiving,
I will always praise your name unstintingly, unceasingly!

Tuesday, November 23, 2010


Summer meets winter

In this fair and temperate clime
The rose of summer blooms till wintertime;
And hardy fuschia tall stalks climb
Until the first killing frost calls, “time”.
Cold is coming, I hear on the news.
I pick two small boquets past season’s prime,
But Pink Peace rose is always sublime;
And garlands of fuschias can be a pastime
When their glow washes mind with deep red rhyme.

And yes, cold came, as was told on the news!

Beauty of snow, a rarity here;
Gleaming on pink or red blooms to cheer.
That’s the end of my garden this year, I fear.
But roses and fuschias will reappear
For certain, next year!

God, create within me a temperate clime
Where my rose of summer-life blooms till wintertime;
And when cold snaps swoop over me,
May I be resurrected by Divine Energy!
Thank you for Jesus Christ’s good news.

My soul’s winter meets summer every life-year.

copyright 2010 by Marilee Miller

By all means, post a link to this site. But please, no copying for public use except by permission.

This post is linked to L. L. Barkat's "Seedlings in Stone" blog,
"On, In, and Around Mondays"

Friday, November 19, 2010


L. L. Barkat invited several of her online friends to share in a round-robin review of her book, “God in the Yard.” We are a far-flung group, geographically, and not necessarily having any previous contact with one another. The same book was passed along. Each person kept it a month and then mailed it on to the next reader. Each reviewer included a brief personal note to the new recipient, thus establishing a sense of “community”. Here are the photos of my “send-off” to the next reader on Laura’s list.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010



This is a review of the book “God in the Yard,” by L. L. Barkat.

Barkat had a time of feeling “pinched in this life.” Seeking rest and re-focus and renewal of heart and mind and work, Barkat committed to spending time in her yard every day for a year. Looking at the same scene over and over. But trying to see it differently each time. Drinking in the lessons that Nature could teach her about encountering God’s presence. Seeing shapes, designs, colors, patterns. Hearing swish-swishes and rustles of trees or shrubs. Sometimes, she even tasted natural objects.

She invites others to seek God in the out-of-doors, away from having chores and the obligation “to do”. She needed to just “be”, to drift, see, feel, ponder.

Perhaps not many of Barkat’s readers will actually commit to spending daily time out of doors – especially in winter, or in the midst of rain or wind -- as a spiritual quest for more of God’s presence. But if we are unable to view life from our own yard or a nearby park, we may visit Barkat’s yard through her lilting words of wind and song in the pine tree and thorn bush.

One day, alternately gazing at the maples to the
right and the pine overhead, it occurred to me that
the two grow quite differently. Maples have a Nile-
River-delta thing going on – a trunk that divides
and divides, river to stream to rivulets to sky.
White pine is wheels within wheels. The trunk is
an axle flung straight to heaven and branches
grow out from it like spokes. Each major branch
pokes stiffly outward. Then again, the minor branches
circle it like spokes. And on….

The ceiling of my makeshift temple is vast and
changeable. One morning it is pearls, strung
between the wider universe and me. Another
moment it is pink seashells on ocean foam. At night
it might be cobalt blue I could fall into, never come
…I close my eyes and feel the unexpected
“tip tip” of fine rain pricking my cheeks. Seeds in
white coats try to plant themselves on my arm.
Pine needles use my [tea] cup as a heliport.
The sky is also a sponge that sucks up offerings.
Steam from my mug rises and dissipates. …Clouds
hurry on, kiss and follow currents…

Barkat, who self-styles herself as a “dysfunctional extrovert” (though I see her as far more powerful than that), opens her heart to share how past wounds and family brokenness made her feel responsible for keeping her world running. She concludes that in many ways, her previous experiences disconnected her in-the-present from building trusting, restful relationships with people or with God. She sought, through waiting on God in her yard (and seeing, truly seeking to see him in everything), to become a more open person. Her views of pine trees and birds wheeling and pine needles slithering, led her to the surprising admission of her great grief and loss – giving her a chance to lament her wounds and ask God to open her heart to becoming more trusting, and loving life.

Readers who have experienced deep pain in their lives may find comfort from Barkat’s honesty about her own unhappy child-life-situation. And I appreciated getting to know this other side of the Laura who often presents in her blog a greater sense of being productive and “having it together.” If her story causes us to be angry at, or blame, ourselves for our own negative side or woundedness, why then, we may be sure we need to offer up our entire selves to the ONLY ONE who brings healing, the Master who values us all.

The book also offers questions to ponder for possible directions in our spiritual growth. I have to admit that I didn’t resonate well with the questions – a fact which is probably more due to my own make-up than to the questions themselves. But L, L. admits having questions may be more important than having their
answers. And also invites her audience to disregard questions that don’t apply, and to make our own.

I’m privileged to have been invited to read and review “God in the Yard.” It provided much food for thought. I pray that Laura will continue to grow in the grace of Our Lord. And that, as the time becomes appropriate, she’ll share with us. I pray also that she’ll be able to accept herself just as she is, of value in God’s kingdom because he loves her and chose and called her, and not for “what she can do for him” or her degree of success or productivity in life. And I pray the same prayer for all the rest of us.

Monday, November 1, 2010


photos (c) 2010 by Marilee Miller please link to this post, but no copying without permission

At the sink, washing the dishes again;
But the task is more than just “duty”,
When I am confronted with so much beauty –
Soap bubbles ‘aglisten like droplets of rain.
So fragile, so thin, so poppable now and then,
Yet the scientists dare to call
The sphere the strongest shape of all.
Few objects withstand pressure as well as a ball.
Shimmering rainbows, beadlets that shine,
Lift up my spirits. Oh Lord, I am thine!
Thank you for soap bubbles, my glad booty!
Strengthen me, Savior, to show glory-shine;
Yes, let me bubble forth with your Christlike beauty!
(c) 2010 by Marilee Miller

The close up lens on a camera
Does strange, unexpected things
To simple objects like bowl of soap-bubbles;
Yet when I get too near,
Oh, dear!
I’ve an imprint of bubbles
On the lens itself!
An accident, unexpected;
But it’s a delightsome tracery!

God sees me close up,
In a way I can’t view myself.
He must glimpse in me soap bubbles:
When he wipes my tears dry,
I shall know no fear.
How dear!
His power to wash away troubles
Brings cleansing to particles of soap bubbles.
Oh, may I become,
In his time and way,
An imprint of him, his lens illum’ing my life.
I’m not a mere accident, in his view,
But a delightsome tracery!
(c) 2010 by Marilee Miller

The times seem as popping-prone as mere soap bubbles;
The woes come in copy-tones, in trebles and doubles;
Sometimes I fear coping-gone, toil and troubles.
When and where will hardship end?
Will I crackle-snap into nothingness,
Or crumple under life’s duress?
Or may I, by God’s own grace, quietly bend?
I yield to you, my Maker and Friend.
(c) 2010 by Marilee Miller

“In the world you have tribulation. But be of good cheer;
I have overcome the world.” (Jesus)

By all means, link to this post; but please, no copying without permission.


This post is in response to L. L. Barkat's "Seedlings in Stone", "On, In, or Around Mondays"


Wednesday, October 20, 2010


At times, my car is a “place”. A place I go----
Well, actually, a necessary place to go in order to get somewhere I need to go, to get something I need to get----
Then is going from place to place, that is, to and from my car, also a “place”? Sometimes my “place” (car + errand-running) becomes a blessing from God, a blessing for others, a blessing to me.

I had found myself singing over and over this morning, “Make Me a Blessing To Someone Today.” (I hadn’t thought of the tune in quite some time!)

A friend called. She wasn’t feeling very strong; asked for my prayers for her strength and energy. She was also bothered because she hadn’t been to see her brother for a while. But neither she nor the brother are able to drive right now. She depends on her family for transportation. But they have so many obligations they can’t always help her.

I offered to drive her to her brother’s (in our same small town). I’m not very strong, so I don’t often promise to help other people. The few past times that I have offered, my friend has turned me down because she knows it takes so much out of me. But I’d had to take some extra medicines a few days back, and was having a good day, so I assured her that I felt like taking her. That I would just drop her off, and come back later for her. And she accepted.

So I picked her up, drove her a mile or so to brother’s house, and back-tracked to the grocery store. Unfortunately, I made a trip for nothing, because that store was out of the special non-fat yogurt I buy. There are only two grocery stores in town, and the other one had discontinued the non-fat version.
I was left with some time on my hands, but not enough to do a lot of errands.

Around the corner a bit from the grocery store is a cabinet-maker’s shop. I’d thought several times of dropping in to see if they ever had any scraps of discarded wood to give away. I wanted some pieces for small plaques, or other craft projects. But that place wasn’t on my regular walking route between shops, so somehow I’d never gotten around to talking to them. So now was the time!

And yes, they did have some scraps – that they were going to burn up. And I got a nice box of small chunks of beautiful wood. (I would have loved to take more. I hated to see the rest burned up; the wood was so fine grained and beautiful. But he only offered me the small box. (And that will last me quite a while!)

So I did get to be an unexpected blessing to someone today. My friend told me that I had no idea how much she appreciated me driving her. Not getting to see her brother had really been weighing her down.

But I feel I received a far greater blessing. For I not only got to see my friend – we aren’t able to get together very often. She had a scripture verse to share with me; and I read her a page from a thoughtful Christian book. And then, as I was returning to my car with the box of wood, a kind stranger at the edge of the store’s parking lot, taking pity on my staggering slow step, offered to carry my box to my car (at the other end of the lot.) Thank you, God, for the times when a car can provide a “visiting place”, a worship-space, a warm embrace, a cheerful face – and then carry me home to contemplate my box of lovely craft supplies. Now, that’s grace! (Unearned favor!)

Grace is something I can really go for!

This post is a response to L. L. Barkat's blog, Seedlings In Stone,
"On, In, and Around Mondays."


Tuesday, October 12, 2010



I feel thin and stretched today, from life apart—
Looking for a place to hang my heart.
My mind accepts that God’s still near –
So why does inner self feed on fear?

Like carefree grasses, I would reach—
Until I touched my Lord to beseach.
I’d like to soar with God of blue sky—
Or like bauble-balloons, learn to FLY!

Dear God, I offer ME as a brand new start!
Looking for a place to hang my heart.
Though I feel you not, I accept the silence;
Help me, Lord, to keep my balance.

In gratitude my voice shall raise—
To be a sacrifice of praise.
You are my place. You are my heart!
I bless you: you never really depart.

copyright 2010 by Marilee Miller

By all means, link to the article and photos of artwork, but please, no public displaying without permission.

This post is in response to L L Barkat's "On, In, and Around Mondays."


Tuesday, October 5, 2010



Mural 10-4-10

In a leisurely business district of a quite small town, there’s a place where one can walk in the present day
while keeping company with the past. For on the large wall of a vintage building, a historical mural depicts the main street of this town a century ago. The painting, created in 1995, is a composite of early-day storefronts inspired by several actual old photos, peopled with period-piece figures, with a few extra touches added by artist Lee Wilder Snider. Snider created a sense of deep perspective on a flat building, and merged the painted corner buildings to intersect with the present-standing building fronts on a real street at right angles to the mural wall. A very intriguing and well-done artwork!

Where I’m standing to take the photos, sometimes I have to wait for a car to pass by on the street. Occasionally a car obliterates the mural view as it drives into my picture while I’m snapping the shutter.

There’s a smattering of pedestrian traffic, as well. People on their way to a shop, or the post office, or returning to their cars in a parking lot. Among those who mosey by, are two elderly men (at individual times). At sight of me taking pictures of the mural, each one comments to me: “Isn’t that the most beautiful painting you ever saw?” (They don’t even know they’ve repeated the same words. And I, why I bask in the fact that my camera makes a conversational door; other people would normally just pass me by, their thoughts sealed in their own worlds.) And I rejoice, also, to know that the mural “speaks” to others as deeply as it speaks to me. It’s a part of the town pride and joy!

May I let this mural, created to satisfy an artistic instinct -- and to bring others pleasure and a sense of belonging -- remind me of God’s joy in his people. May my photographic fulfillment, and my momentary encounter of community through the comments of others, motivate me to accept that He has created us with intricacies and special touches to give us a perspective to raise our hearts to him, and to touch others’ lives with blessings. The Bible says “the Lord’s portion is his people.” And that we, his people, are “gifts of God that he delights in.” We, as persons, and our accomplishments done “as unto the Lord” (even if not everyone knows they’re working for such reasons!), are a lively and inspiring work-in-progress.

Am I able to picture myself as one small part of God’s great, unified mural? How may I share that vision with others to bring them news of His good pleasure?

artist Lee Wilder Snider 1995
photos Marilee Miller 2010
Feel free to link to this post, but please, no copying of text or photos for public use without permission. (c) 2010 by Marilee Miller

This posting is inspired by L. L. Barkat's invitational, "On, in and Around Mondays."



artist Lee Wilder Snider 1995
photos by Marilee Miller 2010
Feel free to link to this post, but please no copying for public use without permission.


artist Lee Wilder Snider 1995
photos by Marilee Miller 2010
Feel free to link to this post, but please no copying for public use without permission.

Monday, September 27, 2010


A week and a half ago.
In my kitchen, unpacking the groceries I just brought home.
But when I’ve finished putting things away, I realize –
Hey! Where’s my Kool Aid?

Bought 3 packages (3 flavors, unsweetened.) Intending to use as flavorings for plain gelatine.
(Well, maybe not Jello, but not so plain by the time I add the flavors and Splenda sweetener according to my taste – and milk instead of half the watery liquid called for.)
But eventually I remember I haven’t found any Kool Aid. Hmm. The packages are small.
Did they hide at the bottom of one of the now-stashed-away bags?
I get out the flimsy plastic sacks again, prodding and feeling and looking inside. No Kool Aid.
The extra bread, still posing in a bag, will go to the freezer. But no Kool Aid is hiding there.
Cereal boxes (extra for later) and 6 oversized fat yams, still occupy their grocery bags.
I pull out enough cereal boxes to see the sack’s bottom. And finally, I shuffle the top yams.
No Kool Aid. The sales slip shows that I paid for them!
But are my little packets still slinking on the clerk’s counter?
Tomorrow, I’ll need to go and ask.

Many, many days later.

Vows for my tomorrows have a way of discombobulating.
I don’t make it back to the store to ask if lost can be found.
A number of days later, I no longer feel comfortable asking a clerk,
“Did you find my packages of Kool Aid about two weeks ago?”
While erranding at another store, I just buy three more packages
(each a different flavor) of unsweetened Kool Aid.

And now I can make my gelatine dessert. Grape, I think.
I get the gelatine and Kool Aid heated, dissolved.
Looks strong! Will be good, I’m sure.
But the milk will curdle it if I add it now to this hot liquid.
So let me pop the bowl in the refrigerator,
Cool my concoction, then add the Splenda and the milk.

Meanwhile, maybe there’s time to pick up my e-mail!

Oops. The siren song of technology!
Meanwhile, a technicality! -- the fridge keeps working.
Now the gelatine is a sort of limp Knox blox, missing half
Its intended liquid, and too congealed to add the milk and sweeetener now.
If I melt it down and start over, it won’t set by suppertime.
A taste? It’s zesty, zingy, potent – but, curiously, not inedible.
And I’ve thought of a way to still make the gelatine into a dessert.

So then it’s time to get the rest of supper. Maybe yam?
I’ve been eating my way through the 6 overly fat yams.
I see there are only 2 left. And when I pick up one –
THERE’S MY KOOL AID! Stuffed in a corner of the plastic bag.
The yams were so ponderous and bulbous I didn’t see underneath.
And so I eat my bountiful supper, and finish up. Smack, smack.
Cubes of grape gelatine and dollops of nonfat frozen yogurt dessert
(already sweetened.)

Hmmm, have I places in my life that hide as well as the Kool Aid did?
Fears, lack of courage, distractedness distancing me from Almighty God?
How thankful I am that the Lord sees all; he knows my secret cache
Of faults and damages and sour flavors tucked away.
And yet he chose me for his own, and loves me as I am.
The Creator of the Universe knows just how to make me
Into a pleasing, palatable dish flavored with his love and grace.
His Holy Spirit sweetens me.

“Moreover, because of what Christ has done, we have been made gifts of God that he delights in, for as part of the Father’s sovereign plan we were chosen from the beginning to be His, and all things happen just as he decided long ago.” (Eph. 1:11 TLB)

This is linked to L.L. Barkat's Seedlings in Stone, "On, In, and Around Mondays"

Monday, September 20, 2010


Rambunctious Surprise.


Not just any ol’ carrots –
But the longest I’ve ever seen to buy.
Way too long for my refrigerator bin!
Rambunctious carrots!
They deserve a photo shoot.
A place setting of ordinary table utensils
Will impress the carrots’ size.

Table by the Window:

A smallish table, often standing bare;
If I place anything there,
It’s only temporarily.
Because my cat firmly believes
The table by the window belongs to her!
(But of course the table stays empty
As she spends time in other “her places”.)

And, the natural daylight streams just right,
Through the corner windows.
So here, I take advantage of the light
To pursue my photography.
Ordinary objects shine,
As do rambunctious fantasies!

So I lay out my carrots on the table,
Ready to document their rambunctious size.


And then, ah, there’s a flurry of surprise!
Rambunctious cat claims her table;
Sniffs and licks and pokes my carrot layout.
Finally decides there’s room on table
For rambunctious long carrots
And rambunctious prowling cat.
So she settles down, not rambunctiously at all.
And I take pictures all the while.

(PS. Yes, I washed the carrots well, before eating them.)

Feel free to link to this post. But please, no copying of text or photos without permission.


This post is inspired by L. L. Barkat's invitational, "On, In, and Around Monday"


Thursday, September 16, 2010


This post is in response to:

Unexpected Encouragement, an invitation from Faith Barista's jam


Unexpected Encouragement: A Hard Way to Make Use of Some Old Files

Before the days of Microsoft Windows, one operating system was DOS. I wrote a multitude of documents on the word processor that came with that old computer. But when I needed a newer computer, the only way to transfer my files was to call up each document, individually, and instruct it to convert to ascii (plain text). Over time, I did manage to convert a large number of files, which then went to live on my newer Windows 95 machine with MS Word, (and years later, could thus be read in Word on an XP computer.) But I had 100 or more data files that I wanted to preserve for posterity, but they weren’t high enough priority to drop everything else and convert.

I held on to that old DOS machine and my Win 95 computer for years and years and years, just for the eventuality of converting the files. But when I finally decided to work on the files, neither the DOS machine nor the Win 95 worked. A tech friend gave me another old Win 95 computer to play around with. But his computer didn’t have the right cables for a “slave” hard drive, and couldn’t find the DOS disk at all when it was fitted in as “master”.

This week a relative of mine who makes a once-a-year tour from another state to visit various family members, stayed with me several days. He resurrected my Windows 95 machine. And tried to write a program to convert the files; but the unknown properties of that ancient word processor defeated him. Then the hard drive started playing tricks again. However, inserting the hard drive from my tech friend’s computer into my old Win 95, my relative finally produced a working computer. And he was able to install the DOS drive as a slave. In fact, he managed to copy the entire word processor and files onto the Win 95 hard drive, and then, after many attempts, as an operational sub-directory on my XP machine!!!! The computer runs in XP, but allows me to call up my old Dos files, and then save those I’ve read --in MS Word!!! (Of course, I have to strip off the lines and lines of machine-code left at the top of each file by the old word processor; but the text is intact.) (And he instructed my computer to run in a simulated Win 95 mode – yes, there really is such a command – within that directory only!) Success at last!

The one constant I observed through all his trials and failures, was his persistence, his patience at trying again and again. Of not being discouraged by failure. When confronted by repeated failures, I tend to give up. So this was a good observation for me. And I learned something more about the character strength of this relative that I only see occasionally.

If a person can be so patient and persevering, and finally get good results from a seemingly-insurmountable problem, then how much more may I look to the incredible strength of my Mighty God? I need to remember: His patience and perseverance ever guide me into wholeness-in-Him out of my own flaws and brokenness.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010


This post is in response to an invite from High Calling Blogroll member Claire Burge --
to submit a zoomed photo image.

In a vacant lot, casually tossed aside, I came across an over-ripe, somewhat dried out artichoke. The leaves (or green petals)were starting to brown. But it had the most glorious purple-stranded topknot! There was no garden near the lot. But I’d seen artichokes growing in a neighbor’s garden a full block away. Perhaps an animal dragged the booty away. Or maybe some kids played with it.

I used my scanner to capture some effects of the lovely, wiggly scrolls of the topknot. But alas, I didn’t get around to taking a photo – which would have showed more effects of the cluster. For I got to wondering what might be inside such a treasure. And so I sawed it in two on my bandsaw. (I thought the object would fall away into two halves, a top and a bottom, and after I saw what it looked like inside, I could easily photograph both that, and the topknot. But I was wrong.)

The inside of the artichoke revealed a mass of white threads. The whole top half fell away into a scattering of fragments. Some dribbled to the floor, some fell in the sawdust bin collector, and a few ungainly strands rested on the sawing platform. Thus, I had nothing left of the once-clustered, squirly, swirly purple topknot. So I lost my chances for a photo.

But what I did have – the sawed bottom half – became a one-of-a-kind art object. The strange, loose inner
texture made it impossible to saw a smooth, straight line across petals that moved when the blade struck them. (It would probably be impossible to ever duplicate this particular result.)

This view reminds me just a little bit of a towheaded child’s hair against a browned face, ringed by a fringed parka. (Look with the eyes of the imagination, not those of deep scrutiny!) But how wonderfully beautiful are the whitened hairs!

And, what exactly is within me? Only my Maker, God, knows. The Scripture says “he makes all things beautiful in his time…” (It also says he even knows the number of hairs on my head.) If to me, a lowly, dying artichoke appears wonderful and surprising inside, I trust that God sees my heart and soul with the eyes of his incredibly creative imagination. It’s not my own character or righteousness that makes me beautiful to him. But he promises that he always sees me through the beauty and wonder of Christ-in-me.

And again, the Bible says, “…He [God] guarantees to bring us to himself.” (Eph 1:14] (sigh of relief!)

photo and text copyright (c) 2010 by Marilee Miller

Monday, September 6, 2010


this is in response to L. L. Barkat's invitational:
"ON, IN, and AROUND MONDAYS" for Sept 6.


A few days ago I posted about an arrangement I'd placed on my dining room table.
I'm still looking at my mini ocean beach scene. Today I'm focusing on the jug of drinking water in a ripply, molded plastic bottle.


Keen; light. Glistening.
Ripply. Pure water for drinking.
Clear water for imagining
I'm seeing water of mini ocean beach!
This sight is welcoming.

God will quench my thirsting;
I will come to Him praising.
My pretend-beach-scene's stirring
My hopes of surviving.
I’m seeking. God, toward you I reach,
In peaceful homecoming!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010


Sorry, I haven't got the hang of blogger yet. Once I posted the photos, I couldn't find a way to enter the text. Please see previous post for the images.

This is an answer to L. L. Barkat's invite "On, In, or Around Monday," writings about "place", that is, my response and observations about being in a certain place or site.


The Mini-Ocean-Beach on my Dining Room Table

I have a treasure trove brought home from the beach.
(The first time in some years I was actually strong enough
To walk down the slipsy hill, through loose sand,
And get down to the ocean’s slipsy sneaky incoming wave-edges.)

Now I’m at home, at my favorite perching place,
My dining room table. The table is a constant.
But he mementos or “specials” parked on it, change.
Appear or disappear with my mood or my whimsy –
Or with the commonalities or surprises that come to hand.

To commemorate that lovely, inspiring visit
To the beach, I build a memory-garden:
The homeside mini-beach comes to live on my table.

Here, I may explore the intricacies,
Look closely at small or lovely details,
And for each new zoom in, for each new view
Where my eyes focus on pieces or particles (or the whole),
Say “Thank you, Lord, for creating such detail,
Such beauty. Thank you for encouraging my soul.”

A tray full of beach sand, with its amalgamation
Of shell-chips, gravel-plenties, and wave-smoothed rocks
(a fourth inch, half an inch, even one and a half).
Yes, even one small piece of round-edged glass!
That’s my tableside beach, a reminder to worship God.

A drinking-water jug, with crinkly clear plastic modelings,
That’s my ocean -- a faintly imperfect analogy, but
Its reflections echo the flowing He, my Maker Creator,
Sends along the shoreline in delicately thin waves of the sea.

A years-dried-out, curvaceous clustered seaweed balances
On the neck of the water jug, to aid the “beach mood effect.”
(Gathered long ago on another outing to an ocean beach).
A weaving of ragged tendrils, a magic swirl of little tubes,
And at the bottom, where once the hold-fast attached to rocks,
An array of the most incredible, knobby barnacles.
There are snarls of tendrils in me; meandering pipes;
And sharp-edged barnacles to prick, but also to gleam.
But may He remind me of my beauty in him:
For he sees me, not as a pressed amalgam of twisted lines
And peculiar quirks, but as a unique unity of beauty,
For my strangeness is covered over fully so that he beholds
In me only the righteousness of God in Christ.

Thank you, Lord, for my tableside beach
To call my heart ever nearer to you, a worship-tool
To banish my fears and cares in the contemplation
Of your intricacies, and your Holy Design for my life!

copyright (c) 2010 by Marilee Miller
Feel free to link to this post, and to make a copy for your own personal use, but please do not copy this for any public purpose.


copyright (c) 2010 by Marilee Miller
Feel free to link to this post, and one copy allowed for personal viewing pleasure only, but please do not copy images for any other purpose or public postings. Thanks.